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Battle of the Bigs, Suns Trail Heat at Halftime

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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After a long road trip, the Phoenix Suns are back home to take on the Miami Heat. Phoenix has lost four straight, and despite their struggles, the Miami Heat won’t be an easy victory.

Aside from being without Devin Booker (groin) and Cameron Johnson ( knee), the Suns will also be without Cameron Payne on Friday. The Heat will be without one of their better scorers in Tyler Herro.

The Heat were able to capitalize on their advantages, leading 51-46 at halftime.


Though it comes as no surprise, Phoenix has continued to impose the scoring will that’s present with Booker on the floor. Despite that, the numbers weren’t completely upsetting for the first quarter for the Suns.

Phoenix managed to put up 23 first-quarter points, far better than their performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, Phoenix only shot 39 percent from the field, which has to improve in order to keep up with Miami.

Torrey Craig caught fire from downtown, connecting on both of his three-pointers during the quarter. He ended the half leading the Suns in scoring with 10 points while shooting 4-of-6 from the field.

The Suns were shooting 39 percent from the field by halftime, while only going 23 percent from three-point range.


Cleaning the glass will be a huge emphasis for Phoenix this contest. Deandre Ayton is tasked with guarding Bam Adebayo, which makes for an interesting matchup. With Adebayo lurking in the post, it becomes critical that he’s not allowed to grab offensive rebounds to kick out to the Heat’s ample shooters.

Phoenix took care of business in the first quarter, allowing no offensive rebounds from Miami. The Suns also had 11 rebounds compared to the Heat’s 10.

The Suns maintained that same stance during the second quarter, giving up only two offensive rebounds. Phoenix was also up to

Ayton led the way with seven of those rebounds for the half.

Who’s Night Will it Be?

With both clubs being without respective scorers, someone will be bound for a momentous night from either club.

There’s been no evident leader thus far for the Suns that’s separated himself from the pack. Torrey Craig, who’s elevated his role with Phoenix, has been a primary contributor through the first half, however. Aside from scoring, Craig has been impressive on defense, including an emphatic block on Kyle Lowry to close the gap on Miami’s lead late in the half.

The Suns have to be wary of Jimmy Butler, who can put together an efficient scoring run at any moment. Butler is a jack-of-all-trades as well, making him dangerous from a playmaking aspect also. He’s up to 14 points and two assists for the half.

Adebayo is the clear frontrunner to have the leading night for Miami. Without Herro, head coach Erik Spoelstra has stated that he plans to play through Adebayo more on Friday. It was evident through the first half, as he put up 12 points along with seven rebounds for the half.

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